Are you tired of paying thousands of dollars on travel? Then, there’s a good news! Travel hacking can be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s an exciting method to turn credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into airline miles, which you can use to get discounted or even cheap flights from your desired destinations. With a bit of imagination and some knowledge, you can fly for no cost in no time.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is the art of swapping credit card sign-up bonus as well as incentives to earn airline miles. These miles can then be used to buy cheap or free flight tickets. Certain credit cards permit you to use miles towards hotel stays or rental car discounts.
How Does it Work?
The secret to success in travel hacking is to take advantage of the sign-up bonuses for credit cards and to establish a frequent flyer mile program on a select group of airlines. When it’s time to book a flight take a look at the price. If the price is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and use your miles to pay to book a higher-priced flight. When the flights start getting above $500, you’ll want to review the frequent flyer account and find out which airline will give you the best price. It all comes down to the number of miles or points in your travel bank for each airline.
Start with Travel Hacking
Ready to learn the secrets of travel hacking? Your first task is to open a credit card that comes with a welcome bonus. There are many great credit cards that provide many features and benefits. It is all dependent on the airline, your spending habits, and what features are crucial to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are a few credit cards that are great to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, you’ll have to meet the spending limit for minimum expenditure in order to get the bonus. Every credit card has its own set of rules, so make sure to look up the details. Then it’s all about building miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your ideas?
Now that you’ve built up your points amount, it’s time to redeem them for some nice vacation! Different credit card companies will have different methods for redeeming your points. Here are some examples from a few of the providers I have experience with:
Getaway by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you’re a holder of a Chase cards, you can redeem your points through the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within the portal, you’ll get access to nearly every airline and you can use a combination of points and cash to pay for your next trip. You can even book entirely with points if you’ve enough balance! Sometimes, even if you don’t be able to accumulate enough points in order to pay for entire cost, you still can buy flights with Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash with any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you not know that when you book directly through United you can choose the option to pay with dollars or points? Be careful in case you don’t have enough points you cannot combine points and dollars for flights. Don’t worry, though, if you’re just a few point short United provides the option of buying additional miles.
Are you looking for a domestic flight? Take a look at JetBlue! JetBlue provides passengers a relaxing and pleasant flight experience , with more legroom as well as free snacks. Additionally, their booking process is similar to United’s which allows passengers to book flights using JetBlue either dollars or points, but not both. The difference is that JetBlue offers a distinct feature where you can join your points with family members to accrue points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Reach that Minimum Spend
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca, you’re probably pretty economical and it’s difficult to think of spending thousands of dollars to hit the minimum amount required to earn the credit card bonus. But don’t fret as we’ve done it and we’re here to share some of our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is an important one! If you’re able to pay for your rent using credit card, go for it! Just be prepared to be charged a fee, typically around 3%. It might be worth it in the end when the bonus is large enough.
Pay a medical bill
Another way to reach the minimum spend is to pay for a medical bill. If you don’t have any medical bills due Ask your family members to pay for theirs and they will pay you back.
Make a payment to pay off the loan
If you’re in the middle of a loan you owe, think about repaying them using an credit card. Be sure to pay the credit card balance in full so you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask family for help
Discuss your family with them and determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can contribute for. Be sure to be sure that you’re able to trust the person and they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re in the middle of the holiday season, consider buying all your gifts using your credit card. So you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending limit and also be ready for gift giving. Be sure to avoid spending more than you thinking of.
There are a lot of ways to get the most from the travel credit card. accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards flights or other travel-related expenses. Here are a few more ideas for maximizing your rewards
Book travel expenses with your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, use you travel credit card to pay for your flight, hotel, rental car, and any other travel expenses. In addition, you’ll achieve the required amount to qualify for a credit card bonus, however, you’ll also earn points or miles to cover these expenditures.
Make use of your credit card to pay to pay for your everyday expenses
Another way to meet the minimum spending requirement in order to accumulate points by utilising your credit cards to pay everyday costs. This can include things like gas, groceries or even your phone bill. Just make sure to pay the balance off in full every month to ensure you don’t accrue interest charges.
Take advantage of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide bonus points or miles for specific types of purchases, including dining or travel. Check out the rewards program of your credit card and take advantage of any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration a balance transfer
If you have existing debt on a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance onto the travel credit card which has a 0% introductory APR for balance transfer. This will allow you to pay off your debt without accruing interest, and also aid in achieving the minimum amount required to earn the credit card’s bonus.
Use your points or miles prudently
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles, be sure to use them in a responsible manner. Check out the rewards program on your credit card, and evaluate the benefits of different redemption options. For instance, using your points to purchase a flight directly with the airline might give you a better value than using them to purchase a gift card.
Another suggestion is to use a rewards card that allows you to transfer reward points into other loyalty programmes. This will allow you to get a wider selection of choices and more flexibility when making use of your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to the frequent flyer program of an airline or Hotel rewards programme. This can give an access wider selection of hotels, flights, and other travel perks which are not accessible through the rewards program on your credit card.
In addition, you should find out whether your credit card has any perks that can help you save money on travel expenses. Some cards offer travel insurance and rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that could be very beneficial when traveling.
When you travel with someone else and both of you earn rewards with your own credit card. Make sure you don’t divide the cost with the same card, and be sure to track the rewards you earn separately.
The key to reaping the maximum benefits from your travel rewards is to know the rewards program of your credit card and to ensure you’re making use of it in the most efficient method. Utilizing all of the strategies I’ve outlined, you’ll be able to earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences and benefit from a wide variety of travel benefits.